Guilty until proved innocent?


When I grew up in the sixties and seventies, my parents wanted me to pursue a professional career. Lawyer, accountant or banker would all have been seen by them as steady, safe and respectable choices.

Not being the most enthusiastic scholar, I joined a bank and 35 years ago started on a path of learning the business and taking professional examinations. Little did I realise that in 2013, senior bankers would be seen by policy makers as akin to Mafia Dons.

The FSA’s (now FCA’s) policy of credible deterrence towards Approved Persons was significantly strengthened in 2011 through increases in the sanctions that could be applied to individuals. Already, these new powers have lead to some very high fines against senior managers.

Vertical integration – Jurassic Park revisited


Vertical integration……a great example of how modern business finds a novel way to describe a concept which has been discredited.

Once it was called a direct sales force, tied to the products of one product manufacturer. Like the dinosaurs, most of the DSFs were killed off by a combination of expensive products, intrusive regulation and risk averse product manufacturers.

With one exception.

A house divided?


In 1858, just 3 years before the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln predicted, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Looking at our profession’s attempts to represent itself in discussions with the regulator, there is a clear warning in Lincoln’s prophetic words. There can be no doubt that a unified and consistent approach to lobbying...